California To Add BPA To Prop 65 List
Proposes Maximum Allowable Daily Dosage Of 290 Micrograms
The California Environmental Protection Agency has announced plans to add plastic additive bisphenol A – commonly known as BPA – to a state-maintained list of cancer-causing chemicals. The agency has also proposed a maximum allowable daily dosage of 290 micrograms for BPA exposure. If a product exceeds that limit, manufacturers would be required to place a warning label on the item.
California officials must maintain a list of hazardous chemicals to comply with the state's Safe Drinking Water and Toxic Enforcement Act of 1986, also called Proposition 65. The law aims to protect sources of drinking water from toxic substances that cause reproductive harm or cancer. Before BPA can be formally added to the list, a 30-day comment period, which began January 25, must lapse.
This is not the first time California has considered naming BPA a reproductive hazard. In 2009, a state panel of experts determined there wasn't enough evidence to prove the chemical was dangerous. Since then, however, a number of studies have linked BPA to birth defects, prostate cancer, breast cancer and even heart disease.
For the last several years, advocacy and trade groups like the National Resources Defense Council and the American Chemistry Council have sparred over the health effects of BPA. Scientists remain divided over BPA's risks, but public perception has forced many manufacturers to eliminate the chemical from items. BPA has been used primarily in plastic bottles and the linings of canned foods since the 1960s.